Mauryan Administration: PDF, Features, Administration of Mauryan Empire UPSC

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Mauryan Administration was known for its efficiency and organization. Mauryan Empire was the first empire that, with the help of modern administration, was able to conquer most of the northern parts of India. The Mauryan Administration was quite an efficient and organized autocracy with the strongest standing military and army at that time. The administration was equally vast and centralized as the Mauryan Empire was. It had a highly evolved political system as well.

The topic of the Mauryan administration UPSC is a part of ancient Indian history and holds great significance for UPSC exams. Here we provide you with the best notes on the administration of Mauryan empire, including the nature of the Mauryan state, the Ashoka administration, etc.

Mauryan Administration

Most information about the Mauryan Administration can be found in Chanakya’s work, Arthashastra. The Mauryan Empire was a big empire that ruled the subcontinent of India from 325 to 185 BC. But the Mauryas did not only build a vast empire but also integrated this empire with the best-suited Mauryan administrative system. Candidates preparing for the competitive exams can download the Mauryan Administration UPSC notes from the direct link below.

Mauryan Administration PDF

Chandragupta Maurya was the founder of the Mauryan dynasty and established his administrative setup, which was continued by his successors without any changes. Later after the advent of Ashoka, when he tried to liberalize the domain and describe the public duties of state officials, there came slight changes in the Mauryan administration. The basic principles of moral administration did not change until the complete Mauryan Empire was declined, and the Mauryas lost their hold on the administration.

The three main collection sources of the necessary information about the Mauryan administration are Kautilya’s Arthashastra, Megasthenes Indica, and Ashokan Inscriptions. Below are the various names of officers during the Mauryan administration:




Royal Department


Chief Minister

Mantriparishad Adhyaksha

Head of Council of Ministers


Chief Priest



Revenue Department


Revenue collector


Treasury head


Subordinate revenue officer


Officer-in-charge of royal income

Prison Department


Prison head


Head of Police

Treasury Department


Treasury officer


Royal treasury manager

Provincial administration of Mauryan empire


City Security chief


Chief Judge


Head of Industries & Factories


Head of Royal Fort


Head of Foodgrains Department


Land measurer


Mining Officer


District administrator


Metallurgy Officer


Coin minting


Officer of the salt department


Officer of the gold department


Weapon manufacturing & defence department


Officer of the forest


Office of commerce department


Office of time & distance determining


Slaughter-house officer


Royal symbol, coin etc.


Gambling department


Shipping department officer


Officer of Port

Central Government System Under Mauryan Administration

The Mauryan administration was highly centralized. It began with a ruler and further continued to strengthen its roots with all the authorities.

  • The concept of Mantri was also initiated in the Mauryan administration, and the Council of Ministers was called Mantri Parishad in the administration of Mauryan empire.
  • The Council of Ministers, popularly called the Mantri Parishad, was headed by the head of the Council, known as Mantri Parishad Adhyaksh.
  • There were many ranks provided in the Mauryan administration, where the highest rank was the Tirthas,’ and there was a total of 18 tirthas.
  • The next category was the Adhyaksh’. There were 20 Adhyaksh whose main task of Adhyaksh was to look after and operate the military or army-related issues.
  • Other than that, some other high-rank positions in the administration of Mauryan empire were known as Mahamattas.
  • Another set of high-ranked personalities was known as the Amatya, whose primary function was to look after the Judiciary and Administrative jobs.
  • There were many departments in the Mauryan Administration, which had a personal Secretariat, called the Adhyaksha.
  • According to the information provided by the Kautilya’s Arthashastra, there were many Adhyakshas related to different fields like Commerce, Agriculture, Chariots, Cows, Horses, Infantry, Mint, Gold, and many other such departments.
  • Later came the categories of subordinates that managed the revenue of the Mauryan Empire. They were known as the Yukta.
  • Land administration and management were also major concerns of the Mauryan Administration; hence, a subordinate was appointed for it, called the Rajjukas.
  • Among the ministers of the council, there were,
    • Superintendent of mint known as Sanstha Adhyaksh.
    • Judicial Officers were known as the Vyavaharika Mahamatta.
    • Superintendent of Tolls known as Shulk Adhyaksh.
    • Superintendent of Ships known as Nav Adhyaksh.
    • Public Relations Officers were known as Pulisanj.

Art and Architecture of the Mauryan Administration

The Mauryan empire administration was well known for its remarkable contribution to art and architecture for the legacy of India.

  • The concept of stone masonry was introduced by modern architecture under the Mauryan administration, and that too on a wide scale.
  • The Mauryan Palace, which was situated in Patliputra, was very luxurious and richly loaded with remarkable art and architecture, as given in the documents of Megasthenes.
  • Small pieces of stone pillars have been found at Kumrah, situated on Patna’s outskirts, signifying the existence of a great 80-pillared hall.
  • All the remains of the Mauryan Empire and its administrative buildings ascertain that the Mauryan artisans were highly skilled in polishing the stone pillars, as each of the pillars was made of buff-coloured sandstone.
  • These strong and beautiful carved and polished pillars were shut up in most parts of the country, demonstrating that the transport system flourished in the oral administration.
  • The cities of the Mauryan Administration also had magnificent statues of lions and bulls.
  • The art and architecture of the modern artisans were not limited to just drawing and carving on stones; they also hewed out caves from big rocks for the Sadhus to live in. The best example could be the Barabar caves, which are situated 30 km from Gaya.

Revenue Collection in Mauryan Administration

Revenue collection is significant for the success and effectiveness of any empire. Some points related to the revenue collection in the Mauryan administration are as follows:

  • The revenue department chief was Samharta.
  • The treasurer was called the Sannidhata.
  • The sources of revenue collection by the Mauryan Administration were land revenues, irrigations, mining, ferries, shops, pastures, and forests.
  • The license fees were taken from the artisans, who also owed the fines imposed to the court of law.
  • The total land revenue generated was 1/6th of the total produce.

Espionage System in Mauryan Administration

The Mauryan administration had a very well-advanced espionage system.

  • The Empire had trusted and reliable spies and Agents who constantly worked actively and kept the emperor updated about the risks from the market and management.
  • In the Mauryan administration, there were two types of spies; the first one, Sansthan, was the stationary spy, and his task was to stay at a place to keep an eye on the risks. And another one was the Sanchari, who was the wanderer spy, and his task was to roam around the city, watching the public and finding out the roots of the risks and dangers to the emperor and empire.

Local Administration of Mauryan Empire

The local administration of the Mauryan empire marks the following features:

  • Villages were the smallest unit of the Mauryan administration.
  • All the villages had a head, better known as Gramika. He had the freedom to rule the villages.
  • Also, there were districts in the Mauryan administration, and the district magistrates were called the Pradeshika.
  • Under the Pradeshikas worked the tax collectors, known as the Sthanika.
  • The literates were given a better place in the Mauryan Administration and were given the task of documenting the empire. They were known as the Lipikars or the Scribers.
  • There were many other local administrators like Akshayapala, the Accountant General; Antapala, the Governor of Frontiers; and Durgpala, the Governor of Forts.

Military Administration of Mauryan Empire

All the important centres of the Mauryan administration had police headquarters.

  • The Lockup was known as the Charaka, and the jail was known as the Bandhavgarh.
  • The head of the army was known as the Senapati, and he was appointed by the empire’s king.
  • The army formed in the Mauryan administration was classified into 5 parts-
    • Cavalry
    • Chariots
    • Elephant Forces
    • Infantry
    • Navy and transportation

Mauryan Administration UPSC

Mauryan Administration is part of the Ancient History Syllabus of the UPSC Exam. It is an important portion to learn as 2 to 3 questions can be raised in ancient history from this topic. You can download the Mauryan Administration PDF from the link provided in this article and also look at the sample question given below:

Question – Choose the correct option from the given below:

The Nagda Empire was followed by which Empire?

  1. Kushana
  2. Sunga
  3. Gupta
  4. Maurya

Answer – D

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